It might be an internet sting - but this bizarre picture appears to show a Japanese man who keeps a deadly giant hornet on a lead as a pet.
The feared six centimetre (2.5 inches) long Asian insects - which can fly at up to 25 mph - have a powerful, poisonous sting that claims around 40 lives every summer.
The high death rate makes them the second most lethal animal in Japan, after man.
The hornet's owner removed its sting and poison sacs before keeping it as a pet. (CEN)
But one brave insect lover in Tokyo claims to have tamed one of the bugs - and now even takes it on 'walkies' in its own string harness.
The unknown Japanese man, who posted an image of his ‘pet’ on Twitter, claims to have captured the normally highly aggressive hornet with a butterfly net and then held it with tweezers while he removed its sting and poison sacs.
After that, he put a string lead around its thorax, and now the harmless hornet goes everywhere with him.
'He does bite occasionally but it doesn't really hurt,' said its owner.
But the carefully posed photographs have begun to bug other Twitter users, who think the whole thing might be a cunning online sting.
'Thee hornets are the nastiest, most aggressive insects in the world. Even without a sting they'd try to bite you to death. There's no way they could be pets,' said one.
And one blogger added: 'I can't help having a sneaking suspicion that the hornet might actually be dead and is being put into poses for these photos.'